A 24-year-old man from Rossland has died after a motor vehicle accident on Centennial Trail.
On Tuesday evening, just before 7 p.m., Trail RCMP officers were dispatched after a call reporting a vehicle down an embankment near Rossland.
Two other passengers and the driver of a Ford truck were transported from the scene to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Police have not released the name of the deceased.
The truck was travelling on the Centennial Trail near Highway 3B, where it slid off the hiking trail and rolled down an embankment.
“They had driven down Centennial Trail, which is not open to vehicles,” said Sgt. Darren Oelke of the Trail and Greater District RCMP detachment.
“They got as far as the tunnel, where I believe they couldn’t make it through. They were trying to negotiate their way back out and slid off the road and rolled.”
The RCMP press release states alcohol and seatbelts are believed to be contributing factors in the accident.
The call came in after dark and Oelke says road conditions were less than ideal, stressing that the truck should not have been on the path to begin with.
“It was icy and slippery, and there was a little bit of ice and snow on the road,” he said. “The conditions were not good, and it wasn’t even a road.”
Sgt. Oelke says the accident is still under investigation, but there were only three seat belts in the vehicle, which had four occupants.
“We are still doing tests on the vehicle,” he said, adding that there wasn’t enough information at the scene to determine if the deceased was the occupant without a seatbelt at the time of the incident.
“It was a three passenger vehicle and there were four people there.”
Oelke wants to remind the public that accidents like this are avoidable by wearing a seatbelt and making sure the driver is sober before getting in a vehicle.
“Keep your seat belts on. Seat belts save lives,” he said. “We had an accident earlier this summer out on Casino Road where somebody would have lived if they had worn their seat belt. We can’t stress it enough, seat belts save lives.”
The other three occupants in the vehicle were said to be coherent and talking with investigators once they arrived at the hospital. Oelke says he doesn’t think there were any significant injuries.
Police say names of those involved are not being released, out of respect for the family of the deceased.